Staff & Board

Pike Place Market Foundation

Our Staff

Lillian Sherman

Executive Director | 206-774-5246

“I can honestly say I have the best job in the city! Every day as I walk through the market, I’m surrounded by our mission: a neighborhood where low-income people find dignity, hope and community.

By giving to The Market Foundation YOU make stories like the ones you’ll find on our website possible.  The difference we make together is more than just a day in someone’s life, we are changing a community. Together, we create the legacy that is the Pike Place Market.”

Professional Background: I returned to The Market Foundation in 2012 after spending 13 years leading the fundraising and community relations efforts at Wellspring Family Services and FareStart.  Both organizations went through significant growth periods during her tenure including major capital campaigns. Prior to her first turn at the Market Foundation in the late ‘90’s, she created Special Events for Food Lifeline and for The Bon Marche.  Lillian spent her formative years in McMinnville, Oregon, moving to Seattle to attend SPU where she earned a BA in Political Science & Social Work.  She also holds an MPA from Seattle University.

Fun fact! When not working or chasing children around, you will find her outside running or walking trails or swimming happily in the lake.

Christi Beckley

Fund Development Manager | 206-774-5243

I love the Market!…is what everyone says, but that is before they learn about the services housed with-in the Market and supported by the Foundation. Then they say….Wow, I love the Market even more now.”

Professional background: I enjoy ensuring that services are available for those in need by inviting others to give back to our community. Prior to joining the Market Foundation team, I spent the last 15 years in the non-profit sector in development, programming and leadership for the YMCA of Greater Seattle and the American Cancer Society.

Why I love my job? It’s a joy to be surrounded by the vibrancy of the Market community, but it is the passion of our supports and the positive impact that they help create that keeps me going each day.

Fun Fact! Give me a good beat (preferably a funky one) and I’ll dance to it!

Nicole Cilley

Campaign Coordinator | (206) 774-5262

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. If you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

Professional Background: I grew up in North Carolina where I developed a passion for great food. I owned a small restaurant on the Gulf of Mexico for five years then moved to the Pacific Northwest. In Portland, OR I operated a “build your own” mac and cheese food cart as well as a small restaurant in conjunction with a brewpub. I found a wonderful home at the gourmet pasta stall in Pike Place Market for many years and now I’m happy exploring the culinary side of the market while I work for The Market Foundation.

Why do I love my job? I really feel great about my day when I’ve spent it helping people.  My role at the Foundation lets me help my coworkers with administrative tasks at the same time as helping the community.  To me, this is not just a job, it’s contributing to my own community.

Fun fact: I go on baking sprees for stress relief- cakes, muffins, brownies and breads…


Crystal Dixon

Neighborhood Center Project Manager | 206-774-5262

“Pike Place Market’s community is as rich and layered as its history.  For many people who live and work in the market, it’s so much more than just a neighborhood, it is a place where people can live, shop, work, and care for each other. The Pike Place Market Foundation helps to maintain and fund the diversity and sustainability of this community.”

Professional background: I have a BA and MA in International Relations and have worked for NGOs and nonprofits for nearly my whole career. Before coming to The Foundation, I worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of King County as a Unit Director and Wellspring Family Services as a Community Engagement Manager. My approach to program development focuses on creating and sustaining social service programs where community and client can merge, and anyone and everyone has a chance to make an impact.

Why I love my job:  I am thrilled to see the 40 year old plan for the completion of the Pike Place MarketFront coming to life! The Neighborhood Center is going to be a key piece of this expansion and I am more than excited to be able to bring my community building and project management experience to help shape this new resource for the Market community.

Fun Fact: I don’t like chocolate, ice cream, or cake. I am a good person though, I swear!

Patricia Gray

Capital Campaign Manager | 206-774-5249

“More than fresh fish and produce, the Market is a model for how a diverse neighborhood stimulates a dynamic, economically viable community.”

Professional background: My passion is to empower people to make a positive impact in their community. I have worked in communications and fundraising at Wellspring Family Services, FareStart and the University of Washington Alumni Association and served on the board of ROOTS Young Adult Shelter. Prior to my nonprofit career, I was a journalist in Indiana, The Netherlands and locally for Real Change Newspaper. I have a journalism and telecommunications degree from Ball State University.

Why I love my job? My approach to public relations & fundraising is through community building and I firmly believe there is no better place to do this than Pike Place Market.

Fun Fact! By night, I enjoy tearing it up on the roller derby track!

Lindsey Falkenburg

Communications Coordinator | 206-774-5255

“The Market is a truly a magical place. Before working for the Pike Place Market Foundation I was really only familiar with the vendor side of things. Now I see the community engagement aspect of the Market everywhere I look, whether it is preschool kids asking for produce for the food bank or seniors on their way to hang out at the senior center. Pike Place Market really is the heart of Seattle and I am honored to be a part of that.”

Professional Background: I come to the Market by a very circuitous route. After receiving my degree in Anthropology from Willamette University I spent the last five years building trails and removing invasive plants for a number of different conservation corps and governmental entities. I took the 2013 and 2016 seasons off to hike the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. On the side I built my communications resume running an adventure blog about my travels. I am thrilled to be the newest edition to the Pike Place Market Foundation office, where I will be fulfilling the role of Communications Coordinator. In my new role I will manage our print and digital communications, our website and our social media. For me this position is another new adventure!

Why do you love your job? I love coming to work every day in a place that values community as much as I do.

Fun fact: I got engaged on the summit of Mount Rainier. And I did the proposing.

Tiffany Swanson

Donor Relations Specialist | 206-774-5233

“I’ve had a love affair with Pike Place Market my whole life, yet never knew the depths of the market community until recently.  I’m incredibly honored to work with Pike Place Market Foundation, where I not only get to plan some of the best events in the city, but also contribute to the greater good of our amazing community!”

Professional background: With a Communications degree from Washington State University (Go Cougs!), I spent most of my extensive career in advertising analytics, finance and management for Disney Interactive Media Group and Then, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and steer my professional life toward what I’m truly passionate about – planning events that honor and celebrate our city with a non-profit organization that helps touch the lives of the Seattle community. I always knew I wanted to make the world a better place – I just didn’t know how!

Why do I love my job? The Pike Place Market Foundation is a powerful, caring and impactful organization full of delightful and inspiring individuals who truly want to help others.  I’m so thrilled to work with these people and have a hand in creating events here at Pike Place Market. It’s experiences like these that make life great – eating, drinking, dancing the night away in one of the coolest locations in the world, all to help our community thrive. What could be better than that!?

Fun Fact: You can also find me performing and teaching improv at Unexpected Productions, the improvisational theatre company right here at the Market Theatre at the Gum Wall. I like to think I’m changing the world for the better here too – one laugh at a time!

Clover Thurk

Special Events Manager | 206-774-5254

At any given moment, the Market is home to the most unique community of people – vendors, craftspeople, residents, market children, farmers, travelers and more. I’m honored to be a part of this moment in the Market working to expand and support this very special community.”

Professional background: Collaboration and engagement in social justice, sprinkled with fun and laughter, has been a theme for my life’s work. I have been fortunate to work in shelters in Washington, DC, with rural weaving projects in Jordan, and a variety of non-profits in Seattle including the REACH Project and most recently Neighborcare Health.

Why do I love my job?  An event can be a powerful engagement tool, utilizing all the five senses. What better place is there to do that than at  Pike Place Market?

Fun Fact! I have been reading Anna Karenina for over a year.

Erica Ward

Neighborhood Center Coordinator | (775) 303-3798

“I have a passion for people! My goal is to enliven the aspirations of others and to promote healthy perspectives of coexistence and mutual beneficence within diverse communities.”

Professional background: I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Santa Clara University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. I have worked in numerous different industries over past years but have found myself most devoutly affiliated with the nonprofit sector. This position is my second Americorps VISTA role.

Why do you I love my job? This position allows me to participate in the Market community that celebrates a lot of diversity and breadth of global exposure. Working in the Pike Place Market is like working for a family of dedicated individuals who come together every day to propagate Seattle’s vibrant culture to our local, national, and global neighbors.

Fun fact: I make many of my own clothes and have a very healthy addiction to pinball.


Board Of Directors

2017-2018 Officers:

Elizabeth Coppinger , TEDxRainier

President | 206-937-1661

Elizabeth retired following a career of over 25 years in the field of digital technology and entertainment.  Most of her executive career was with Sony where she was the SVP of New Business at Sony Corporation of America in New York City.  As an alum of UW, Elizabeth had always aspired to return to Seattle.  She moved back to the Pacific Northwest several years ago heading up Video Services at Real Networks.   Like most Seattleites, she loves the market and its community and has had the privilege of serving on the Foundation board for nearly 8 years.   In addition to her work with the Pike Place Market Foundation, Elizabeth is the Executive Director and Curator of TEDxSeattle, an annual conference now in its 7th year that, presents talks and performances by exceptional individuals who reside and work within our region.

Abraham Dairi , U.S. Trust

Vice President | 206-358-3265

Abraham Dairi is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. In his role, Abraham leads a team which works with High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth individuals and families throughout the country. With over 10 years of experience in finance, Abraham previously held positions with Union Bank & HSBC.

A resident of Downtown Seattle, Abraham currently serves as Chairman of the Washington Board of Advisors to the American Cancer Society, Member of the Board of Directors of The Pike Place Market Foundation, Member of the Board of Directors of Seafair & the Seafair Foundation, and on the Education and Community Engagement Committee of the Seattle Art Museum. Abraham is also a member of the Rotary Club of Seattle.

Nicole Bahr , Community volunteer

Treasurer | (206) 498-8582

Energized by new ideas and bringing them to life in technology, finance, and social ventures, I love learning something new and helping improve the world in the process. I joined the Market Foundation in 2011 because I was captivated by the twin missions of improving the lives of the low-income residents of Seattle while also transforming the waterfront into a world-class destination for tourists and locals alike.

Professionally, I have worked at Russell Investments, the London Stock Exchange, Microsoft, and start-ups like Avenue A.  I have a passion for utilizing new technologies to transform industries for the benefit of the end consumer. I have expertise in operations, process improvement, product development and sales.

Denna Cline , Community volunteer

Member-At-Large | 206-715-9449

Historical: MN, ND, AK, MA, NY, CA, CT and finally WA!

Denna has a MPA from the JFK School, worked for Standard and Poor’s, was the Director of Strategic Planning under Paul Schell, and worked on the Monorail project and did BD for Perteet Engineering.

Currently, Denna is retired and lives in North Seattle, loves being a grandma, and is taking expressive drawing and watercolor courses and doing Pilates.  And, best of all – now she has time to get involved with The Market Foundation and a mission that involves community in a wonderful sense.

Peter True , Gull Industries

Member-At-Large | 206-624-5900

Peter True is Vice President with Gull Industries, Inc. in the Sodo neighborhood of Seattle. In this position Peter is responsible to managing the commercial real estate portfolio, as well as analyzing potential company acquisitions. Gull is a family company founded by Cecil True that operated gas stations till the early 2000s, and now maintains a portfolio of real estate and investments. Prior to joining Gull Industries Peter worked in political fundraising in Boston, MA and completed his MBA at the Foster School at the University of Washington.

Peter and his wife Jacqueline Barton True live in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle with their cat Stella, their dog Harper, and their new son, Theodore. Peter and Jacqueline love travelling, in particular to places off the beaten path. In the past few years they have been to Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, the Maldives and South Africa among others. Peter joined the Market Foundation board to support his love of Seattle and his belief in a diverse and supportive urban core. He believes strongly in the mission of the Foundation to support people to live and work around downtown, and help those in the community.

Joe Fuller , AstraZeneca

Member-At-Large | 206-526-5195

Having lived in Seattle nearly all his life, Joe lived in the Maple Leaf neighborhood for over 20 years, and in 2015, moved to the Junction neighborhood of West Seattle.  He earned a degree in business administration from the UW, and in 1987 started in sales at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.  In the early 90’s, Joe took a position as State Government Affairs Director for AstraZeneca and was responsible for legislative and regulatory issues impacting the company for the Northwest region.  In 2011, Joe returned to the commercial side of the business, promoting AstraZeneca’s oncology portfolio, covering accounts in Puget Sound and Alaska.  ln addition to Joe’s work on behalf of the Market Foundation, he’s also been active on the Washington Leadership Advisory Board of the American Cancer Society.  In his spare time Joe enjoys travel, boating, skiing, biking, and golf.  Joe has been a frequent visitor of the Market since his childhood.  He became an enthusiastic member of the Board after learning of the incredible services the Foundation helps support for those in need.

John Pierce , Premera Blue Cross

Past President | 425-918-6217

John is Senior Vice President and General Counsel with Premera Blue Cross, where he has been since 2005. In this role John is responsible for the legal affairs of the Premera family of companies.  John has been involved in the healthcare industry in this region for the past 24 years.  This year John and his wife celebrated their 31st anniversary and the 17th birthday of their twin sons, Jordan and Conner, who attend Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences.  They live on Capitol Hill in Seattle and are long-time fans of the Market.  John is a graduate of Stanford Law and Washington State University.  His causes include kids and education, and he is past President of the Boards of First Place School and Boyer Children’s Clinic.  John was drawn to the Board based on Premera’s support of the Clinic and continues with the Board based on his belief that the Board can help to make a difference in the lives of people in our community.

2017-2018 Members:

Kirsten Anderson , Oncogenex
Natasha Bleier , Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Michel Brotman , Simply Seattle Stores
Anne Bryant , Physicians Insurance
Sherry Burkey , Community volunteer
Harry Caraco , Community volunteer
Christine Craig , CPC Consulting
John Delaney , Windstar Cruises
Austin Dienst , Russell Investments
Susan Finneran , Community volunteer
Ben Franz-Knight , Pike Place Market PDA
Lindy Gaylord , Community volunteer
Marie Gill , Habitat for Humanity
Daisley Gordon , Cafe Campagne
Nick Hawley , Visit Seattle
Ken Jackson , 1st Citizens Bank
Inger K. Johnson , Kimco
Jane A. Johnson , Windermere Real Estate
Eddie Kirschenbaum , Oculus
Dan Moore , Starbucks Coffee Company
Andrea Mackin
Amy Morgan , Avalara
Skylee J. Sahlstrom , Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC
Julie Newell , Community volunteer
Lisa Samson , Community volunteer
Ryan Santwire , Centurylink
Warren Stickney , Stickney Research
Michele Shaw , Michele Shaw Law
Lisa Stirgus , Wells Fargo
Merideth Tall , Clipper Navigation, Inc.
Chris Volk , Edelman
Ted Youngs , Community volunteer